• 'Poldark' And Handsome: New Hero Settles In On PBS
    "Poldark," the hero on PBS' "Masterpiece," is a brooder and a man of few words. He went to America to fight and acquire his scar in the losing war to quash the American revolution -- and returned in 1783 to his native Cornwall, England, where he learned his father was dead, his familial property was in ruins, his estate heavily in debt, and the woman to whom he was once betrothed had married his cousin. In a nutshell, this is the set-up for this seven-episode series -- a remake of a first version produced in the mid-1970s.
  • No Golf For You! The Case For President Trump
    Buried in some of the coverage of Donald Trump over the last few days was a sanction he imposed on employees of Univision: They are now banned from a golf course he owns in Miami. This country club banishment came on the heels of Univision's decision to withdraw from an agreement to air Trump's "Miss USA Pageant" later this month following his now-infamous remarks about Mexican immigrants.
  • When Animals Attack: Beasts Go Wild In CBS' 'Zoo' Story
    These animals are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore! That's one theory that comes to mind when pondering the question of why some animals that have resided peacefully alongside humans in game preserves and zoos are now launching deadly attacks on people. It's the scenario that unfolds in the premiere episode of this new summer series on CBS called "Zoo," adapted from a James Patterson novel. It premieres Tuesday night.
  • Easy Solution To NBC's Trump Problem: Sever Ties With Him
    It was only natural that Univision would drop a show associated with Trump, who angered many Spanish-speaking people when he decried the quality of Mexicans who have emigrated to the United States. NBC issued this statement last Thursday: "Donald Trump's opinions do not represent those of NBC, and we do not agree with his positions on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration." The statement sidestepped the central issue, which is whether or not NBC will be joining the chorus of boos that have erupted ever since Trump made his remarks about Mexicans in his speech announcing ...
  • Forget Him Not: Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's Journey On CNN
    Glen Campbell might be the first celebrity to ever go this public with Alzheimer's disease. Campbell was followed around by a film crew for the better part of 18 months after he was diagnosed with the disease in 2011, and the result is this documentary called "Glen Campbell ... I'll Be Me," now coming to TV for the first time this Sunday night on CNN. His performances during this tour are the most fascinating portions of this film, which covers the tour both onstage and off.
  • Affleck's Roots Didn't Fit PBS Show's Heroic Narrative
    Ben Affleck's slave-owning ancestry ran counter to the narrative that had already been pre-planned for the episode of the PBS show called "Finding Your Roots" that he appeared in last October. Now that strong doubts have been established about the authenticity of the "history" being presented on this show, PBS is doing the right thing in suspending "Finding Your Roots" until the show can get its act together -- which includes adhering to the facts, whatever they might turn out to be, and including such facts, despite a subject's dismay over what they might reveal about their family history.
  • Fear Of A Tech Planet: Robotic 'Humans' On AMC
    From "Mr. Robot" on USA Network to a whole 'nother category of emotionless creatures on AMC's "Humans," TV's summer of sci-fi is up and running. In this eight-part series -- produced in the U.K. and premiering this Sunday on AMC -- the "robots" are so lifelike that the lines are blurred between who's a "real" human and who (or what) is not.
  • Who Is 'Mr. Robot'? Lo And Behold, He's Cyber-Dexter!
    When I watched the premiere of "Mr. Robot" a few weeks ago, aspects of this character's life seemed familiar. It wasn't because he is a master computer hacker -- a "cyber-vigilante" who finds and downloads incriminating evidence on wrongdoers who he then entraps. This hacker named Elliot is a navigator of the more-secret passageways of the World Wide Web and polices them in the same secretive way that his targets use them. When I pondered this aspect of Elliot's life, a lightbulb went off in my head: He's not just any old hacker hobbyist -- he's cyber-Dexter!
  • Networks In The Hunt For DVR-Proof Non-Sports Programming
    Inspired by the example provided again and again by live sports, the TV networks are trying to figure out how to apply the sports formula to non-sports programming. Of all the commercial TV networks -- both broadcast and basic cable -- NBC seems to be the one that is most in the hunt for this Holy Grail of TV shows.
  • Williams' Interview Was Painful To Watch, And Also Unnecessary
    Was this interview really necessary? Maybe it was simply too tempting on the part of NBC News to put Brian Williams on TV in an interview with Matt Lauer in the belief that this two-part conversation would give "The Today Show" some kind of a lift in the Friday ratings. That might even turn out to be true when the numbers get generated. But it's also possible that many people may have quickly judged this cringe-worthy interview to be unwatchable and then switched elsewhere. Self-flagellation has that effect on some people. It's difficult to watch someone punish himself.
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